It’s important to be smart when renovating in and around your home. Not only should the improvements be of good quality and pleasing to the eye, but make your home secure and deter potential burglars.

Insurance companies tell us that most burglars enter via the garage door, back door, kitchen or bedroom window. Burglar-proof these and you’ll significantly improve your chances of never having to endure the trauma of a break-in.

Here are a few ideas with extra security features:

DOORS
When renovating, purchasing new doors and lock systems is one of the most effective ways to prevent intruders. Make sure the external doors are solid and robust, and if they are not, you should replace them or add a security screen. Also, have key-operated two-cylinder deadlocks fitted to all external hinged doors, as spring latch locks are easy to jimmy open with simple tools.

Sliding glass doors are also a favourite entry point for burglars. Fit key-operated locks or patio bolts to all external sliding doors, such as patio/veranda doors. Sliding doors can also be made more secure by inserting a wood or metal dowel into the track to limit movement.

WINDOWS
Large windows on the ground floor are easy targets for burglars, as are windows close to doors. If you’re planning a home addition or a full renovation, consider placing windows high on the wall and away from doors.

When purchasing new windows, avoid regular glass windows. Double and triple pane windows or other toughened glass products are much harder to break through.

If you like to leave windows open at night, consider installing single cylinder window locks that only allow the window to be open a little, and stop the window being opened further for anyone to gain access into your home.

For additional security you can add a security grill, security screen or burglar bars to all accessible windows.

LIGHTING
Install light timers to switch on automatically if you aren’t home when it gets dark, or have gone away for a few days. The timers should mimic when you would usually switch lights on or off.

Exterior lighting is also a good deterrent, provided it is switched on and off as though someone is at home. Make sure the approach to your house, especially any entryway, is brightly lit, controlled by a light timer if necessary – this also makes it safer and more comfortable if you come home after dark.

Motion sensor lights are a great idea, especially at the back of a house or bottom floor of an apartment. Infrared motion sensor lights are also easily available and are not very expensive. An unexpected light going on is a definite deterrent to a burglar who will wonder what other security devices you have in place.

LANDSCAPING
You may not think landscaping has a lot to do with home security, but a smart landscaping scheme can help protect your home. Trees should be kept away from windows. While they provide privacy and shade, they also conceal your view of the outside and also conceal intruders trying to get into your house.

Installing a tall fence around your property will also ward off intruders as well as a dog in the yard.

SECURITY SYSTEM
A security system is a smart way to protect your home and family against burglars. Get the experts in to help you choose the best system for you and your home.

Lastly, remember to not leave things around the home like ladders or tools that can be used to break in and/or damage your property.

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